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Stanton Drew

8 9 QuArrying and transporting the stones The stones that make up the three circles of Stanton Drew were probably quarried a few miles away, from the site at Rudge Hill in West Harptree. Possibly the various colours and shapes of the stones were chosen by those who selected them at the quarry, and that this is what gives them their singular character. Indeed, they are all individual, each one with its own personality. Some have flat tops, some pointed tops, characteristics that perhaps might be interpreted as lunar and solar, and interestingly the custom of finishing the top of a stone wall in this manner is still common in Somerset. It is a style known as cock and hen. The proliferation of megalithic structures worldwide in the Neolithic period has led to keen debate as to how these immense stones were transported over such vast distances. The stones of Stanton Drew are relatively small compared to the giants of Avebury and Stonehenge, but to transport them five miles would none the less have demanded great determination and ingenuity. The most broadly accepted explanation with regard to the Stanton Drew stones is that they were transported by raft along the River Chew, whose course follows the northern edge of the site. Other suggested means of transport have included rollers, levers, levitation and even teleportation Above Brickmaking near Stanton Drew, 1798. Smaller stones for modern times. Lower opposite An 1850s view of Carnac, France, showing locals in front of the menhirs.
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